Pastor Roger Anghis
November 21, 2010
Discovering America’s Christian Heritage
Part 21 Black Patriots Part 2
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children
Another prominent black patriot was Peter Salem. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and was pivotal in the Americans winning that battle. As was in many battles, the Americans began to run out of ammunition and other materials and as a result of that the British began to overrun the Americans. Peter Salem was able to find the British commander and kill him sending the British troops into chaos which allowed the Americans to regroup and eventually win the battle. For his actions on the field he was given 14 commendations from commanders and was recognized by the Continental Congress and the State legislature.
Lemuel Hanes was a black preacher that had established several churches throughout New England and was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. After the war he returned to New England and every year on George Washington’s birthday he would preach a message about George Washington and how he fought side by side with him.
In 1852 there was a book published called Services of Colored Americans in the Wars of 1776 and 1812 written by William Nell who was the first black that was appointed to a federal post. In 1855 he wrote another book called ‘The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution’. This book was fairly thick and details the heroics of many black individuals and the black regiments of Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. Again, this is a history that is no longer taught and if it was, I believe that many blacks would think better of themselves because they would see that their forefathers were not just repressed slaves but men and women of great importance to the establishing of the great nation.
In 1856 the Republican Party entered its first presidential election. In the party’s platform there were only 9 planks but 6 of them were for black equality and civil rights. The Democrat party warned: “All the efforts of the abolitionists are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences and all such efforts have the tendency to diminish the happiness of the people.” According to the Democrats in 1856, the attempt to end slavery in America would make the people unhappy. The next year, 1857, a Democratically controlled Supreme Court issued the Dred Scott decision which declared that blacks were not persons or citizens but property. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney stated in his decision: “Blacks had no rights which the white man was bound to respect and . . . the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”
The election of 1860 saw Abraham Lincoln as the Republican candidate and the Democrat candidate was Stephen Douglas. The Republican platform opposed the Fugitive Slave Law and the Dred Scott Decision as well as setting goals to end slavery and win civil rights for blacks. The Democrats however, praised the Fugitive Slave Law and the Dred Scott Decision. For over a hundred and fifty years some Democrats have taken the position that some human lives are disposable. Today’s Democrat party has taken that very position concerning unborn human life and consider it nothing more than property that you can do with whatever you want. Blacks are still suffering from that ‘disposable’ mentality. Even though blacks are only 12% of the US population they account for 35% of all abortions. For every 100 births there are 53 abortions within the black community. Many Congressional Democrats are rabidly pro-abortion, even the black Congressional members, and consistently vote against the protection of the unborn.
Lincoln was elected with just 48% of the popular vote and 59% of the electoral college vote. Republicans also took control of Congress. Because of the anti-slavery, pro-civil rights platform of the Republican party it was obvious what Congress was going to do. This upset the Southern Democrats so much that they left Congress and formed the Confederate States of America. Most of the Northern Democrats had the same view of slavery that the Southern Democrats did, they just did not agree with secession.
With the Republicans in control of Congress they began to implement their platform and in 1862 they abolished slavery in Washington, D.C. and in 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation freed all slaves in the southern states. Eleven states split from the union and declared that slavery was the cornerstone of the new nation. The North Congress continued to implement the promises of their platform. In 1864 they passed S.99 on February 29, 1864, a bill to secure equality before the law in the courts of the United States. This means that color had no bearing on a person’s ability to access the court. Up until this time a black person could not testify in court nor could he bring a suit before the court. This bill made the black man equal in the law with a white man. Another bill that was passed in 1864, S. 145 passed March 2, 1864, gave a black soldier the same pay as a white soldier.
The presidential election of 1864 was held as the Civil War was coming to an end and because the Southern Democrats were still at war with the North, the Democrat candidate was General George McClellan. This was unique as he was running against his Commander-in-Chief Abraham Lincoln. During the campaign McClellan stated “Our bloody Civil War has now lasted nearly four years under the mismanagement of Abraham Lincoln. Nearly one million white men. . . have been sacrificed. Lincoln had declared his intention to convert it [the Civil War] into a war for forcible abolition and Negro equality, social and political.” It seemed okay to the Democrats to stop the abolition of slavery and giving blacks social and political equality.
The platform of the Republican Party called for an Amendment to the Constitution to permanently abolish slavery. Immediately after the election in January-February of 1865 Congress passed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. In Congress there were 118 Republicans and 82 Democrats.
The vote passing the 13th Amendment was 137-63. All Republicans voted to end slavery and 19 Democrats voted to end slavery. When the vote was taken and it was announced that it had passed, Congress called for a sermon to be preached. The minister that was called was the Reverend Henry Highland Garnet, a black minister and the first black to speak in the halls of Congress. Today we would find it very odd for a service to be held in the Capital, but in 1865 the largest church in Washington met regularly at the Capital.
To be readmitted into the Union each state had to swear an oath to uphold the Constitution which now had the 13th Amendment barring slavery. Within a year blacks were registering to vote and forming political parties. On July 4, 1867 in Houston, TX, 150 blacks and 20 whites formed the Republican Party of Texas. Over the next few years the Republicans became the majority party in most southern states.
first 42 blacks elected to the Texas State Legislature were Republicans.
In Louisiana the first 95 blacks elected to the state House and the
first 32 black state Senators were Republicans.
Alabama’s first 103 blacks elected to the state legislature were all Republicans as were the first 112 in Mississippi, South Carolina the first 190, Virginia the first 46, Florida the first 30, North Carolina the first 30 and in Georgia the first 41.
The 14th Amendment was passed giving any slave born in the United States citizenship because southern states did not recognize slaves as citizens. Now this Amendment is being used to give the child of any illegal immigrant born in America citizenship.
The first black Senator was Hiram Rhodes Revels. He was also a minister of the Gospel, a chaplain in the Civil War, raised three black regiments during the Civil war, President of Alcorn College (now Alcorn State University). Joseph Hayne Rainey was the first black elected to the House of Representatives and was Speaker of the House. The first 23 blacks elected to the federal Congress were all Republicans. These men were self educated and if you attempted to read any of their speeches today, you would need a dictionary to help you understand the speech because of the level of vocabulary they used.
Subscribe to the NewsWithViews Daily News Alerts!
It is a shame that our schools will not teach this most important part of our history if for no other reason than to encourage blacks today to learn the great heritage that blacks have given America and to give them a reason to accomplish great things like their forefathers did, even against great odds.
This is the type of history that if lost, may never be recovered in time to be effectual.
© 2010 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFreeSpeech.org